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Two Christmas gifts.
some superb coffee beans from a good friend, and some liquor soaked cherries in dark Belgian chocolate......from family....

Great free worship loop

I have actually had and used this one for a while....but now 'Eleven 72' are offering it for free.

Head over there and download it...for the best possible price.

It is a nice loopable background mpeg....great for fast moving uplifting praise songs.

2008 reflections

My family has been a continued source of blessing for me.
My wife continues to become the best cook she can be, cooking some incredible food, and demonstrating her spiritual gift of hospitality.
My son is growing into a great, well balanced, loving son.
My daughter is growing into a beautiful little girl, and this year I took her to swimming lessons, and saw her develop the courage to start to swim on her own.
2008 has truly been the best year of our church life
We have merged with Inglewood Church of Christ and become Inglewood Community Church
We have started meeting at the Inglewood Civic Centre, which has seen us become a more visible presence in the community, and start to attract visitors on a consistent basis....People know where we are, and when we meet. We run programs such as the Artisan Markets, which are an incredible outlet for community presence.

I have learnt how to use Photoshop and Sony Vegas, two great high end programs which have helped me become more efficient and professional in my work.

Personal prayer, devotion and holiness.....these are aspects of my life I continue to work on.

Rick Warren

When people from both sides of politics are villifying you, its probably a sign you are doing the right thing.
Rick Warren is clearly a biblical/conservative minister....yet Obama has picked him to pray a prayer of blessing on his presidency. I doubt Warren voted for Obama......
This quote from Warren from the LA Times speaks volumes for the wisdom of the man. I am so glad he is representing us in the media...

"I happen to love Democrats and Republicans," he told the gathering. "And for the media's purpose, I happen to love gays and straights. . . . Who ever came up with the idea that you have to agree with everybody on everything in order to love them?"Warren added: "And you know what my attitude is: You don't have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand, and you can disagree without being disagreeable" (Source)

Vegas Vs Yosemite

A few years back a few good friends and I went to Sacremento to study the incredible ministry of churches under Paul Borden's leadership.
After the 14 day study tour, Wayne Field, Peter White and myself went on a driving tour, including such spots as Vegas, Yosemite National Park, Las Angelas, and a lot of the US in between.....
When I got to Vegas, and Wayne and I went on a tour, in our rented Chrysler 2am in the morning, I turned to Wayne and said,

"After seeing what God created for our enjoyment in Yosemite it's a disappointment to see what man created for our enjoyment in Vegas."

Wayne told me that U2 filmed their clip, "I still haven't found what I am looking for" there....which just about sums it up.

Psalm 100

"The source of confident joy and joyful confidence originates in the fundamental acknowledgement that "the Lord, he is God. It is He who hath made us and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture." Turning from divine praise to human dignity, the Psalmist celebrates the good news that we are neither alone nor autonomous. He confesses that God fashioned every single person, and that therefore every human being enjoys an inherent worth that can never be earned or even lost, and that therefore we enjoy His bountiful care. Many people, of course, do not view the world or people this way, and herein lies a great divide between two very different ways of experiencing life itself."

Mark Driscoll has a bad day...but learns some lessons

This is a really good post.
Pastor Mark Driscoll had a really bad attendance at Mars Hill Church, a mega church in Seattle. He is a edgy young pastor, with a influential ministry. He writes on his church blog about a recent service when it snowed heavily in Seattle (you may have seen it on the news) and it affected attendance negatively....

"I preached to 80 people at the first service in a room that seats 1300, and the best attended of the four services today was about 250 people....."

He has some pretty frank things to say... (Driscoll frank? Who would have thought!)

"Those who see it as a job are the first to call in and cancel their duties, not show up, dog it, or leave early. Those who see their service at Mars Hill as a calling go beyond the call of duty to cover for everyone else"

You can read the rest here

Inglewood Christmas Reflections '08

What an awesome Christmas Service we had.

The best Christmas Service I have ever been too....ever.

It started off on Wednesday really when Ernie, Bev, Q, Eliot, Jenny and Les and myself set up the 'winter wonderland' at the Inglewood Civic Centre.

We have always wanted to 'black out' the church and do this, but never been physically able to, until this year.

We 'blacked out' the centre by using black curtains and black paper.

Then we installed temporary fairy lights, roping them over the walls, and then strategically placed on the stage.

We installed a great nativity scene, complete with wise men, Mary and Jesus..using a reverse projecter, the congregation saw a stary night scene as a backdrop and fairy lights as stars, as well as mood lighting.

We used some great media, including loops of candles and other Christmassy type stuff.
People from overseas need to realise that for us Aussies, Christmas is normally sun, beach and prawns.....The service was designed to provoke a different response....

Awe, wonder and excitment for the kids...and we handed out battery powered candles for the children, which they got to keep.

That is the physical setup covered...pretty much, except for the fact we also had the service projected into the foyer where there is a huge LCD screen, so it created excitment from when people walked into the building.

Then Eliot and the Soul Jam Choir kicked off the service with a rocking version of "Rock a my Saviour"...which was a great feel for the rest of the service which included contemporary Christmas songs, mixed with rocked up traditional well as a exemplary item of "O Holy Night" (well done girls!!!)
I spoke on the importance of reflection, what have we done this year, using the lyrics from Lennon's song, "So this is Christmas, and what have you done, another year over..."
I spoke about the nativity story, and used various scriptures...but mostly talked about how the nativity was only the start...and Jesus ministry did not really begin until 30 years later. I gave testimony to how Jesus and His life inform and provoke my own, provide meaning and purpose for my life. It was a short...(hopefully) humorous message, designed to provoke people to reflect on where their life is going, not matter what their spiritual journey.

We finished the service off with a rocking version of "we wish you a Merry Christmas" and as I shook hands at the door, a huge crowd of happy people, who kicked off their Christmas Day festivities in the best possible way exited. It was a hugely enjoyable service.

However....probably the most exciting news was the offering we took up. There was some concern that we would not raise the necessary $1500 to build one well.

We should not have worried.
People gave more than enough to build two wells.

Our people were generous...and loving. A great Christmas gift to the world.

It's something....but it aint coffee.......YUCK!

The day before the day before the day

John Finkelde mentioned on his blog that he loves the 23rd of December....and wondered if he is the only one...he isn't...I do too!

Isn't the anticipation of something just as good as actually obtaining it?
Has not God designed us to be chase after?

I believe He has.

Last night I took the family to the 'Nativity' scene/drama in the city. It was awesome. Geoff Woodward (spelling?) from Metro Church and the evavenscent (spelling2?) Michael Battersby led the thousands of people gathered there in carol singing...I am friends with Colin, Michael's brother, and we often joke that despite their obvious similarities, Michael is the outgoing one...he is! Colin is an awesome worship leader, but their style is quite different.

Michael and his team did a great job.

Then Ted Bull (ABC) basically read the story from the bible, interspersed with drama, real camels, and carols. mention of Santa....candy canes or anything else.
Just the beauty of the nativity story, presented in a contemporary manner to thousands of non church folk...

What a blessing.....

There is a lot of 'Grinchness' around this time of year, let us not be among the green headed monsters....Let us instead celebrate this awesome time of year, an opportunity to reflect, to share our faith, to share our lives, to celebrate with famiy.....

I believe in a God who is exuberant, creative, fun, positive, visionary, celebratory...a God who commands His people to party...COMMANDS THEM!!!

Let us throw off those things that bind us..and Celebrate the King's Birthday.


We assume that we rule our lives, but we can't even hold our breath.

I miss my dad

I miss my dad.

He was a non communicative, dysfunctional father.....who I hardly knew.....

but I miss him like crazy.

I wish I could ring him up and ask him about how to change an oil filter, even though I know how.

I wish I could play squash with him, and go easy on him, because when I started thrashing him, he no longer wanted to play.....

I wish he was here to give presents to my kids...because he was GREAT at that.....

If your dad is still alive, no matter what he is like...don't take him for granted.

Merry Elves from the Edwards family!

The gospel driven church and why people may hate us....

This is an interesting blog....
here he defends Rick Warren and makes some good points.....

"No stranger to getting flamed by church people indignant over his writings and methods, Warren is now getting flamed by some very vocal supporters of President-elect Obama because he (Warren) is pro-life and against gay marriage. Shocker, I know."

"Here's the thing: Warren is not saying anything outrageous for a Christian minister. He is simply, as most evangelical Christians do, saying that babies should get to live and that homosexual behavior is sin. That he is getting branded a radical hatemonger for these things should tell us a lot about the culture we live in, which -- PAY ATTENTION HERE -- doesn't care if you're a cool, goatee-sporting, social justice loving, Obama voting Christian. If you simply follow the Bible's counsel about life and sin, you're Hitler." (Source)

It was really interesting to me that Obama mentioned 'gays' specifically in his presidential speach.

This is not a gay bashing site....there are plenty of them around, and this is not one of them.

But a Christian minister should stand up for something, namely that the Bible is true...and God does not like sin........Rick Warren is probably one of the sharpest Christian minds of our generation, and when interviewed, I have not seen him slip up. I dont think he did in this context either....but what he said may very well be offensive.

Carols this Saturday Night

Hi all who read this blog!

If you are looking for a Carols this Saturday night, and live in Perth or close enough....we would love to see you at ours, we are holding it outside in the open area at the Inglewood Civic Centre, 895 Beaufort St Inglewood (opposite IGA)

Christmas Carols Saturday 20th December 7pm for a 7.30pm start

Inglewood Civic Centre Forecourt 895 Beaufort St

(Carpark in the tenth st carpark off Beaufort St)

Bring a chair!!

Christmas Day Service Thursday 25th
9am Sharp till 10am Sharp Inglewood Civic Centre Beaufort St Bob Daniels Centre

Rove's Cousin to read Channel Nine News a move destined to upset the status quo, Channel Nine news have released details of their next sports reporter.....

here he is.....

I rarely watch TV but...

Why do we make this statement, "I rarely watch TV but I saw this show on how Brooke split up with Taylor etc etc...'
What is it within us that makes us apologise for watching TV...or feign guilt about it?
You don't hear people say, "I rarely go to the movies, but I just happened to catch Hugh and Nicole and she was so wooden...."

All things in moderation I reckon.
At present, with the non ratings rubbish on, thats pretty easy! But there is still some good stuff on. For me, Prison Break and Heroes. Lately I have got addicted to both of them, sometimes recording them when I am too bombed to stay up that late. Also 'Top Gear' (the UK version) on Monday nights.
And....with the 'Spicks and Specks Christmas Special' being essential viewing...enjoy your zone out moderation.

Church Leadership Team

I have an excellent Church Leadership Team...I suppose if they were terrible I would probably not post about them, but they are I can.

Last night we held our first ever Leadership Team Meeting for our new church, and it was a significant time. We decided on some key things, which reflect our inherant values as a church.
I was so encouraged.

I shared with the leadership team that I need three things from them.

1. That they keep pushing me to keep my eye on the big vision, and give me freedom to lead.
2. That they be my chief set of cheerleaders.
3. That they set good boundaries and keep me accountable for what I achieve

There have been years gone by when things have not been so good. Our church is already experiencing some fruit from good leadership, and this team is setting us up for more health.

Yellow and Crack

Well Richmond Football Club have drafted Ben......(after saying there is no way they would)

I actually am glad. I hope that he is aided in his journey back, and does his parents proud.
All of us have made mistakes, its just that Ben got caught...and he continued on with it....

But ultimately I suspect it wont be his much vaunted issues with drugs that bring him down but his hamstrings....and the feral Tigers fans.....

Awesome Sunday at church

We had a great day at church on Sunday.
Some things I can tell you about, some things best kept from huge public audience that read this blog (!)

A great time of worship, the band sounded great, and their was a real sense of freedom there, led ably by Eliot, who allowed space and freedom....great!

A good story of two told...and a good message on meditating on scripture, you can download it from our church website

About 10 visitors, including some real special people, which I can't go into here....but I am hoping they stick around, because together, we could make some awesome differences in our community....

The air conditioning kicked the 38 degree day out of the park...something we have not had the luxury of before....

Lets build a well

This year I had the sense that it was time for our church to try and do something special on Christmas Day.

We want to truly enjoy Christmas, and it is very enjoyable to give to those who go without.

A friend of mine, Steve Mc Kinnon, heads up Tear Fund, and he suggested we build a well....what a awesome idea!

You can read about it here.

Once inspired, go and build your own well...or even spend anything from $5 upwards on a very useful gift!

Blogging, Facecrack and relationships

Its not all bad you know.

Blogging has given me a great outlet, it has introduced me to a whole heap of people and also ideas that have helped a lot. It has been an avenue to internet resources, mult-media, the latest thinking and good books.

Facecrack....ooops...I mean Facebook...has given me access to relationships with a whole heap of people. The most valuable aspect of it is when I also have a 'real world' relationship with those I am interacting with online. In some notable cases it has actually really helped as I have tried to share and deepen relationships and conversations with people that although I see them 'face to face' we dont always get the chance to talk about spiritual matters. This has been really valuable even in the last 24 hours as I was able to articulate something concillitory which may have actually been a problem with someone who is on a faith journey.

I think the key with healthy online relationships is that they have some basis 'offline' as well. It may be too easy for there to be little accountability or reality undergirding the relationship if it only takes place in internet forums or blog comment lines. I am not saying this is always the case, but even those friendships I have developed with some overseas pastors, formed on the basis of mutual experiences, are relationships I have an innate desire to develop 'offline' as well.

While I don't like anonymous comments on this blog, because I think if you are going to say something, take accountability for it, I do allow them, because I hope the interaction can grow to the point where it allows for a certain vulnerability.

As our society and culture is already well and truly 'online', Pastors, those in the relationship and influence areas, need to have an online 'web 2' type presence. As people work more, and have less time free, Pastors need to be available (within their own boundaries of course) to interact with people, as people today are interacting.

(This post was formulated after a discussion with my good friend, Michael Bullard)

Only in America...

With apologies to all my American friends.....but over this side of the pond...this is nuts....

"A US gun company will market a pistol to elderly Americans that will be subsidised by the government in the same way as a wheelchair or walking frame."

Enjoying Christmas

How would it be if you put on a beautiful birthday party for your son.
All the invite his friends, you wrap his presents, you prepare wonderful food.

Then after the day is finished, you turn to your son and you say, "I hate your birthday, its such a hassle".....

enjoy the day....enjoy Jesus' birthday...its fantastic!

List of free Christmas Multi-Media

Here is the multi-media I have done up so far for the Christmas Season, feel free to use it....let me know if you do.

Nativity Loop

Nativity Countdown

The Word Came (illustration on Jesus's coming)

Merry Christmas Countdown

The bottom two you can find on this blog, if you want to preview the top two, I suggest you go to

to see the others.....

Sunday Times....sigh....part two

After his fellow journalist at the Sunday Times, Jay Clark, was compelled to apologise in this weeks Sunday Times for making a mistake last week about Mark Harveys contract length....

(Bad journalism) one might have thought that Kim Hagdorn would get it right.

Apparently even though he is paid full time, and apparently studies and knows both West Aussie footy sides, you would think he might get the players numbers right, especially when talking about those numbers specifically!

"Other attractive numbers on offer to Fremantle's eight new recruits include Matthew Carr's No.9 and departed ruckman Robbie Warnock's 21, made more famous by respected former big man Justin Longmuir." (source)

mmmm....good one dork.

Anticipation and I love Sunday afternoons in Inglewood...

There is a lot of great things about being a pastor and involved in a church.
One of them is Sunday afternoon, relaxing after the glow of a great church service. The band did a great job this morning and we kicked off our new series, "how to enjoy Christmas"....I spoke on the 'Relly Bash" to enjoy Christmas with your relatives...My two main points were to create margins for yourself (boundaries) and also to invite Jesus to the party. Jesus first miracle was to turn 160 gallons of water into the best wine a 7 day wedding party. He wants to be invited to the party....

Then...after that...back home with number one son as wife and daughter are off to a birthday party and we did what dads and their sons do...ate some smallgoods and a good loaf of bread....he is playing 'sponge bob' and I am reading the paper...aaah.


This is good....could use this for something.....

Mark is Mr Busy

Lot on this week...hence not many postings.....
Getting ready for Christmas, January and AGM in February.
Budgets, multi media, Angus Buchan, Christmas services, holidays, fixing car...(oil, coolant, sparks, tyres)

and that is just the last two days.....

Dan Kimball nails it

Has the 'missional movement' been given enough time to produce fruit?
Dan Kimball appears to be getting impatient as he writes,

"Small, indigenous churches are getting lots of attention, but where's the fruit?

I hope I am wrong. For the past few years, I have been observing, listening, and asking questions about the missional movement. I have a suspicion that the missional
model has not yet proven itself beyond the level of theory. Again, I hope I am wrong"

The article he writes appears to me to ask some serious and compelling questions, comparing the growth of 'attractional' churches with the apparent lack of growth of those pursuing alternate methods of church.

"We all agree with the theory of being a community of God that defines and organizes itself around the purpose of being an agent of God's mission in the world. But the missional conversation often goes a step further by dismissing the "attractional" model of church as ineffective. Some say that creating better programs, preaching, and worship services so people "come to us" isn't going to cut it anymore. But here's my dilemma—I see no evidence to verify this claim."

I wholeheatedly agree that the measure of a method of 'church' needs to be, is it growing and seeing people move from non Christ follower to fully devoted disciple. Maybe I am a late adopter, or maybe its time for some serious re-evaluations of those who are the self appointed 'evaluators'


The word came Christmas Multi-media

Here is a shortish presentation I have made up based around John 1 and Philipians 2

You can download a quality copy by right clicking here
Please let me know if and how you use it.

Family Dessert Night

In our family we are trying to create memories for our children that will sustain them with joy as they look back at their childhood.

One inititive we have taken up recently is family dessert night. When guests come over, you often make up a nice dessert....Family Dessert night is when we make up a beautiful one, just for our family to enjoy.

This week it was Rollover Pavlova time....

I am so blessed!!!

Scheduling in ministry

This is so hard! Trying to get 5 different people together for an important meeting, in a volunteer capacity....around Christmas time!


Christmas Countdown

This is a countdown I have made up for our Christmas service. In my own copy I have included our church logo, and also the song from Jars of Clay "when love comes down"

You can get a copy, without the logo and song by right clicking here.

Please let me know if you use it, and how....